Kareen Bar-Akiva (Class of 2007)
My interest in public interest and service work began well before I arrived at New England School of Law (NESL). I performed volunteer work while in college, and worked in the Peace Corps in Ivory Coast, West Africa for two years after graduating from college. During my first year of law school, I became very involved with the Women's Law Caucus at the time that they were working with Professor Greenberg and the Center for Law and Social Responsibility (CLSR) to develop the Judicial Language Project. The project tracks problematic language used by courts to describe acts of sexual abuse or rape, analyzes the implications of the problematic language, and suggests better alternatives in its place.
During my second year of law school I continued to work on the Judicial Language Project, and also became trained as an Interviewer Advocate at Boston Medical Center (BMC) through Northeastern University School of Law's Domestic Violence Institute and Clinic (DVI). In my second semester, I not only continued to volunteer, but I also enrolled in the school's Lawyering Process clinic, where I obtained credit for working at the school's in-house clinic, representing indigent clients in family law and administrative law cases under the student practice rule (SJC Rule 3:03)
For the summer of 2006, I became the first co-recipient of the Mary Joe Frug Grant through Women's Law Caucus, and worked at the Women's Health and Counseling Center in Somerville, NJ where I developed legal resources for their patients, the majority of whom are low-income women and with a focus on victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Additionally, I volunteered at the Division of Youth Services in Somerset County, NJ, doing research on the placement of Juvenile Justice programs in the new Department of Children and Families.
During my final year of law school, I continued to work in the area of public interest both through the clinics and through my volunteer work. I enrolled in the school's Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic, performing my clinical work with Northeastern's DVI at BMC in a Senior Advocate position. I volunteered additional hours and assisted with their annual training of Interviewer Advocates and Domestic Violence Conference. I also assumed in the position of Project Liaison of WLC, further streamlining JLP and authoring the first of a series of articles published in the Sexual Assault Report newsletter sharing some of the our findings. In addition, I organized a Human Trafficking Awareness Party for WLC that was attended by New England School of Law and community representatives. Finally, I enrolled in a third clinic, the Family Law Clinic, and obtained a placement at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), representing indigent litigants in family matters under the student practice rule.